Poet-in-Residence: Kayo Chingonyi

Category: Academic, General, Speakers

The College hosted a ten-day visit by the acclaimed poet Kayo Chingonyi at the start of October, beginning with the a superb performance of his work in a packed Ellis Theatre.

This was a joint venture between the English department and the town's Literary Festival, with an audience made up of pupils alongside visitors from town. They witnessed an extraordinary event: Kayo performed work from his volume Kumukanda, which translates as 'initiation', and was joined by Sean Graham, a dancer who responded to the musicality of the performance in a brilliantly evocative collaboration.  

This was a great beginning to Kayo Chingonyi's mini-residency, during which he based himself in North Block, working  principally with students from the Remove and Upper School.  His workshops were stimulating and well judged, allowing many to begin discovering their poetic voices.  Kayo also spent an afternoon at Swindon Academy, performing and working with younger pupils.

The residency concluded on a Saturday night with the Remove Poetry Festival, which this year focused on the theme of 'identity, people and places.' Pupils from each form performed their poems before an adjudication and prize-giving by Kayo, who also gave a brief performance himself. Jemima Fane Took first prize for her atmospheric poem 'Estuary.'

Mike Ponsford

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